First positive case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis found in Madison County

EEE found mosquito pool in town of Sullivan

— The Madison County Health Department announced today the county’s first positive Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) mosquito pool this season, collected July 21 at a trap site on Moore Road in the town of Sullivan. The test results from the State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center Laboratories were reported to the Madison County Health Department late yesterday afternoon.

A mosquito pool is a collection of mosquitoes of similar species taken from a site for testing. The mosquitoes, which were identified as carrying the EEE virus, are primarily bird-biting species; however, human-biting mosquitoes were also trapped at this location.

“Residents should take steps at home to lower the chance of being bitten by mosquitoes,” said Madison County Public Health Director Eric Faisst. “Avoiding mosquito bites is the best thing you can do. When outside, wear insect repellent according to package directions, stay away from areas with large numbers of mosquitoes and limit outside activity between dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. It is imperative for people over 50 years of age and younger than 15 years of age to avoid mosquito bites.”

Enhanced surveillance activities by the Madison County Health Department are underway, engaging the county’s Disease Surveillance Committee and reaching out to at-risk residents as well as large animal veterinarians, equine owners and horse stables in the county. Horses are very sensitive to EEE and monitoring both human and animal health are key elements of the county health department’s surveillance program.

Any further actions beyond personal protection will be taken only if deemed necessary and after consultation with the New York State Department of Health. At this time, aerial spraying is not being proposed but if such action is deemed necessary, public notification will be issued through the news media.

The Madison County Health Department recommends these steps:

✓Apply insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and follow label instructions.

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